NRC Issues Env Statement for Holtec HI-STORE CISF

25 March 2020

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) has issued a draft environmental impact statement for Holtec International’s proposed consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) called HI-STORE CISF in southeastern New Mexico. The draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) includes the NRC staff’s preliminary recommendation that there are no environmental impacts that would preclude the NRC from issuing a license for environmental reasons.  The NRC staff recommendation of “issuance of an NRC license to Holtec to construct and operate a CISF for SNF” is based on its review of Holtec’s license application, consultation with Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies, input from other stakeholders, independent consultation with BLM staff, and its environmental review.

Holtec International and its partner, the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA) launched the initiative of establishing the autonomous consolidated interim storage facility in southeastern New Mexico on land owned by ELEA in 2015 when ELEA selected Holtec and the underground storage configuration known as HI-STORM UMAX. The HI-STORE CISF, located approximately 12 miles from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) (see map), will provide a significant step on the path to the Federal Government’s long-standing obligation for disposition of used nuclear fuel by providing a safe, secure, temporary, retrievable, and centralized facility for storage of used nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste until such time that a permanent solution is available. 

The HI-STORE CISF will utilize Holtec’s subterranean storage system HI-STORM UMAX, which is physically sized to store all of the used nuclear fuel produced in the U.S. and all canisters currently licensed in dry storage in the country making it a truly universal used fuel storage facility. Already in use at two sites in the U.S., the HI-STORM UMAX stores the stainless steel canister containing the spent fuel or high-level waste entirely below-ground to serve as a “security-friendly” storage facility, providing a clear, unobstructed view of the entire CISF from any location.

Press Release Courtesy of Holtec International.